[Poll] Nocaster Relic + Sun Exposure = Lighter or Darker Fingerboard / Body?

A solid amount of direct sunlight exposure overtime will (based on my experience, not a guess) ...

  • Darken the fingerboard and darken the body

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Darken the fingerboard but lighten the body

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Lighten the fingerboard but darken the body

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Lighten the fingerboard and lighten the body

    Votes: 6 26.1%

  • Total voters
    23

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
990
Just a fun question. I have a Nocaster Relic I love ... wondering if the body and/or neck would darken or lighten with sun exposure. Please only weigh in if you have evidence or reason to believe rather than a guess.

It’s a 2012 in butterscotch with medium relic-ing. Dings through to the wood very easily, which I like. Also, light at 6.68 pounds. Pictured with my Li’l Dawg D-Lux and 1980 TS-808.


I’m playing the thing hours every day but wouldn’t mind if the tint darkened up a bit on the neck and body. It already matches my ‘67 Deluxe Reverb nicely but a tan would make it go nicely with my pleasantly ambered Tweed Deluxe.

Grumbly old man / TGP necessitated PSA: I’m not looking for fear mongerin’ lectures from Squier sporting teeny boppers, I have a degree in guitar performance, toured/recorded extensively, and managed a retail guitar shop for years - the guitar’s going to be fine. And, for the record, “slightly above average, nothing to write home about.” I’m just being silly. :)
 

StummerJoe

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,146
Lacquer yellows with exposure to uv. That's why old white Gibsons now look yellow/cream, or old blue guitars now look green/ish.

I have also witnessed uv wash out stains under a clear coat - like turning a purple dyed top into something brownish in color.
 

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
990
Lacquer yellows with exposure to uv. That's why old white Gibsons now look yellow/cream, or old blue guitars now look green/ish.

I have also witnessed uv wash out stains under a clear coat - like turning a purple dyed top into something brownish in color.
Thanks, SJ, appreciate the reply. Enjoyed your Joey Landreth thread recently, he’s a killer.

I know that to be generally true of lacquer and have seen countless examples on vintage pieces but the variable in this case is how close the custom shop relics really are to the older specimens we’ve all come to love - in this particular regard. I know, it’s silly ...

Looking at that photo now I see it slightly exacerbates the tint of the neck, it’s in that ballpark but not quite that dramatically dark. We shall see...
 

StummerJoe

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,146
Thanks, SJ, appreciate the reply. Enjoyed your Joey Landreth thread recently, he’s a killer.

I know that to be generally true of lacquer and have seen countless examples on vintage pieces but the variable in this case is how close the custom shop relics really are to the older specimens we’ve all come to love - in this particular regard. I know, it’s silly ...

Looking at that photo now I see it slightly exacerbates the tint of the neck, it’s in that ballpark but not quite that dramatically dark. We shall see...
Uhg...you had to mention Joey Landreth. I was just getting over my feelings of inadequacy.;) I try to stay away from Guthrie Govan, too!

Today's lacquers are different than what they used in the old days, but the results should be similar. :beer

 

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
990
Bar smoke will yellow it fast.
I imagine that is true, but it’s not quite my thing. I wonder if other kinds of smoke (all of which would leave residual smell I would find annoying) would do it. Rich Robinson is always burning incense on stage - I wonder ...
 

StummerJoe

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,146
Bar smoke will yellow it fast.
I haven't seen a smoky bar in over ten years! Smoking has been banned where I live, Washington state, for quite some time, and I know the same is true of Oregon and California. In fact, it was illegal in Arizona when I lived there briefly a few years back.

Where are these smoky bars you speak of?:drink
 

Deluzion

Member
Messages
1,293
Darken body/fretboard (but only as its maple neck) It will darken laqured parts because yellow is a darker shade than clear/see through (new laquer) But if the fretboard was rosewood it would be darken body lighten fretboard as a dry rosewood board from sun expose lightens it from my experience
 

PatriotBadger

Senior Member
Messages
1,819
In addition to the yellowing/darkening that occurs with nitro, maple itself yellows with UV exposure. Taken together, eventually you'll get to deep yellow/gold appearance and sunlight exposure will certainly help things along. What wood is the body made from?
 

ToneDeVille

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,747
I haven't seen a smoky bar in over ten years! Smoking has been banned where I live, Washington state, for quite some time, and I know the same is true of Oregon and California. In fact, it was illegal in Arizona when I lived there briefly a few years back.

Where are these smoky bars you speak of?:drink

LOL you are right...
I should have said Bar B Q smoke!
 

fescue

Member
Messages
909
I haven't seen a smoky bar in over ten years! Smoking has been banned where I live, Washington state, for quite some time, and I know the same is true of Oregon and California. In fact, it was illegal in Arizona when I lived there briefly a few years back.

Where are these smoky bars you speak of?:drink
Bars at casinos on reservations. No smoking bans there; everyone smokes in these places.
 

NicDo

Member
Messages
1,742
My 06 american deluxe strat came honey blonde (ash body) with a tinted maple neck neck. It is always out of the case. The body has darkened considerably, the original color under the pickguard is so much lighter. The neck also seems to be uniformly darkening much more than 4 other maple neck fenders. It did get a couple years of gigging in bars before smoking was banned, but not enough to chalk it up that way. The black 89 strat on the rack next to it has mostly been in a case for its life and the neck is still very pale.
 

Axis29

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,479
I use sun exposure all the time to darken wood... Especially maple.

I picked up a couple of logs, trash from some landscapers working in my daughter's neighborhood. When the wood is freshly cut, it is pink colored, like Scottish guy skin color pink. But, with three hours of exposure to my SoCal Sun, and it turns a brilliant burnt orange!

All woods get sunburnt... most turn darker, some will lose their brilliant colors and go dull... a few get lighter, but that's kinda rare.
 

Snoopydogg

Member
Messages
237
I got a used guitar from a friend who had put several big stickers on it. After I cleaned it up, the wood that had been under the stickers was significantly lighter. Took several months of sitting in the sun, but eventually it evened out. So the sun does make the wood darker, but only to a certain point.
 




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